ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a high-level meeting on Thursday and announced that the government had initiated 36 social welfare projects in the country.
He said Ehsas, the government’s flagship programme, would not only help fulfill the state’s responsibility to address issues like poverty, joblessness and health, but it would also ensure effective utilisation of government resources on welfare of the people.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), heads of different departments briefed Imran Khan about the progress made on targets given to them regarding corporate social responsibility.
The prime minister stressed the need for highlighting the country’s tourism potential, introduction of comprehensive local government system for complete empowerment of the people, taking measures for economic improvement and provision of better facilities to businessmen. Talking about the government’s efforts to provide better facilities to the poor, the prime minister said: “Setting up Panahgahs (shelters homes) all over the country demonstrates that the government realises its responsibilities towards the poor and downtrodden.”
Imran Khan directed the authorities concerned to keep people apprised about welfare projects launched by the government.
The meeting was attended, among others, by the PM’s Special Assistant on Media Fairdous Ashiq Awan, Benazir Income Support Prgramme (BISP) chief Sania Nishtar, Finance Secretary Younus Dhaga, and the heads of National Database Registration Authority, National Bank, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), Bank of Punjab (BoP) and Bank of Khyber (BoK).
The ZTBL president informed Imran Khan that the bank had launched a project of e-credit to provide interest-free loans to farmers, especially small growers. The bank had so far disbursed Rs11 billion in loans to farmers, he added.
The bank’s president further said the scheme had recently been extended to Azad Kashmir and talks were under way with the governments of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan so that it could be extended to these regions as well.
“Work is being done on digitalisation of the bank and provision of ATM card service to farmers,” he added.
The head of Bank of Khyber informed the prime minister that his organisation was making efforts for creation of jobs in erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). Attention was also being paid to provision of scholarships to students and for launch of projects that economically empowered women, he added.
The Bok, he further said, was giving loans ranging between Rs 50,000 and Rs 100,000 to the youth in tribal districts so that they could start their own businesses.
Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2019